With respect to the work that the Rutgers football program has done over the past 10 years, adding the Scarlet Knights to the Big Ten is about money, and nothing commissioner Jim Delany says will change that.
Rutgers not only is entrenched in the largest media market in the country (meaning a larger audience), it also offers fertile recruiting ground to the Big Ten.
You could also say that Rutgers offers a competitive program, but, let's be honest, the Scarlet Knights aren't in the same stratosphere as programs such as Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan. They haven't beaten a ranked team all season, they were fortunate to play an ailing SEC team in Arkansas and they lost by double digits to Kent State.
That's not taking away from what Rutgers has accomplished, moving from the bottom of the Big East to the top. The Scarlet Knights deserve credit for putting themselves in position to be considered for the Big Ten.
But there has been nothing that Rutgers has done, even this season, that would suggest it is ready to make the jump from one of the worst conferences in the country to one of the best.
What's worse is that some longstanding, historical rivalries will be undoubtedly compromised if the Big Ten goes to a planned nine-game schedule with Rutgers and Maryland on board.
Brian Bennett of ESPN.com pointed out some interesting (see: hypocritical) comments made by Delany in August and in the present day.
Delany said in August, per Bennett's column, "We don't expand to play each other less."
Now he's saying, "We have great integrated rivalries, great integrated markets, and on the other hand, it’s not the world necessarily that you want, it’s the world that you live in."
A world where you compromise the product on the field for more money? Is that the world Delany is talking about?
Delany is trying to tell Big Ten fans that he must do this, but he really doesn't. The Big Ten, while it has slipped a bit this season, still has plenty of outstanding programs that are generally ranked in the Top 25. Now you sacrifice quality for quantity, whether it be more programs or more money.
Big Ten fans can be thankful that this is not like the Pac-12 adding Colorado and Utah, but this still stinks and it smells like greed.
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